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Child custody litigation: Courtroom etiquette

| Nov 24, 2020 | Family Law |

When two Florida parents are at odds and seek the court’s intervention to make parenting time decisions regarding their children, each parent hopes to obtain a favorable outcome. A concerned parent will want to make as good of an impression as possible on the judge overseeing the case, especially if he or she has requested sole physical or legal custody. Understanding what the average judge expects regarding courtroom etiquette will help a parent accomplish his or her goals.

A child custody case addresses intensely personal and important issues regarding the safety and well-being of children. When such issues are discussed in a courtroom, those involved must understand the setting is a solemn place that is representative of the judicial branch of government. Therefore, a parent who has petitioned the court for custody or one that is contesting the other parent’s petition will want to conduct himself or herself in a befitting manner of speech and behavior.

A courtroom, for instance, is not the place to start arguing with an ex about past marital problems or child custody issues. The judge is in charge during proceedings and his or her presence and authority must not be disregarded. If a parent gets angry, uses profanity or acts in a way that the judge may interpret as disrespectful, he or she may hold the parent in contempt of court.

It is helpful for any Florida parent preparing for child custody litigation to remember that the court always has children’s best interests in mind when making decisions. A parent’s words, actions and appearance may have a significant influence on a judge’s decisions. To increase the chances of obtaining a favorable outcome, a parent can act alongside experienced legal representation in court.